Twice in a Lifetime

Chapter 1

"I love you… to death"

Terrence Grandchester was living like a bum… Ever since he broke up with the love of his life and was forced to be with the woman who saved his life, he was lost, he didn't know what to do, his whole world turned upside down. He was raised by his father the duke and his stepmother who never hid her contempt for him. His mother, a Hollywood actress rejected him when he went to look for her, because he needed some m motherly love he never got from his stepmother. On his way back on the plane, he had met this wonderful girl, beautiful inside out, with freckles on her nose and big green eyes… One look at her, he realised that he had just came back to life, that he had a purpose on this earth all of a sudden, that his girl was the essence of his life, his salvation.

"Sometimes only one person is missing and the whole world seems depopulated…"

Lamartine was right on the money with quote and Terry was realising it the hard way. Because ever since all the drama; Susanna's accident, his break up with Candy, nothing else mattered. He had started drinking and using drugs daily. He wasn't working anymore, so all his money was wasted on the booze and the drugs… When there's no cash flow in, and only out, what had to happen, happened… he found himself penniless, living on the streets, doing shady things. Terrence Grandchester, one of the most talented actors of his generation, had become a bum in the street. He was always drunk and high…living day to day, changing partners… He had found a sugar mommy to "take care" of him, she was older, she had the money and she could supply the drugs for him, her name was Lily Wayne. She had drugs parties, sex parties, orgies… But with her, Terry had a place to stay, to eat and to get free drugs. His mother had tried to get him into rehab, but if the heart isn't in it, rehab is useless. Unless Terry makes the decision to give up everything… he was going to continue living his hell of a life.

Lily had a lot of influence in Hollywood and she managed to get Terry some jobs, but he still wouldn't let to of the booze and the drugs…

That was Terry's life. Years went by…One day, after one of his orgies, one of the maid came to tell him he had a visitor.

- A visitor? Send them away! Said Terry

- But Sir, she's been waiting for a long time, it's not the first time she comes…She said it's a matter of life and death…

- I have a splitting headache… but let her in… in the blue living room

Terry went upstairs to freshen up. He popped a couple of pills and then he went downstairs to the bleu living room. A young woman was waiting for him. She had black hair, wearing a blue dress. Terry looked at her stunned…

- Well if it isn't a face from the past… Annie the shy Brighton…

- Hello Terry, said Annie coldly

- What can I do for you?

- I came here for Candy…

- Candy? She sent you to me?

- She doesn't know I'm here…

- Oh…so why are you bothering me?

- Candy doesn't have much time to live, unless we find her a donor

- A donor for what?

- Bone marrow… she has leukemia…

- Oh my God!

Terry thought he was already in hell, but hearing that the love of his life was dying, hit him like a wall of brick.

- Leukemia? She couldn't find a donor?

- No… I just thought if she could see you before she passes away, she would be happy…

- Why? I'm a bum now; I'm far away from the young man who knew her…

- Terry, you're still the man she loves, she will be happy to see you…

- Candy is dying… oh my God! This can't be happening… Can this world be crueler? Candy is goodness incarnate, she was deprive of her happiness…I was a better man because of her… maybe I deserve what happened to me…but Candy, Susanna! They deserved better than me!

- Terry, please come with me to see her…Terry…

- Of course I'll come… I want to say goodbye to my love, I want to die with her… Let me go tell Lily…

This last one entered the living room.

- Terry?

- Honey, he said, I need to make a trip to Chicago

- Chicago… Candy?

- Yes…

- Of course, go…

- Are you all right with that…

- Baby, I told you, my priority is to make you happy…

- Candy is dying…

- I'm so sorry, she said

Terry stood up and they hugged. Annie was touched. How could that woman so loving be living a life like that…? They were now kissing and Annie looked away.

- You need to go baby, said Lily

- I'll be back soon, said Terry

- Sure, said Lily

Terry left with Annie; he was going to buy stuff in Chicago… Lily looked at him go…She felt like she wasn't going to see him again… That Candy, dying or not was taking him away from her for good, she was taking back her man.

Terry and Annie arrived in Chicago and they rushed to the hospital. Terry got a blood test…what if he was a match and he could save his beloved?

He went to Candy's room, it had to be sterile, and they had to wear protection suits and gloves. He looked at her; she was bald skinny, pale as a ghost. That was his Freckles, dying of a horrible disease…. She looked up and she saw him, she smiled, but she still looked very sick…

- Terry, she said weakly

- Yes, Freckles, I'm here…

- I don't think my Freckles survived the chemo, said Candy smiling

Terry looked at her, he wanted to cry.

- So is this how you were happy after me, you got sick

- And you became a bum?

- How did we get here… we had so many plans…

- I guess those plans made sense when you and I were together…

- We were soul mates, when we parted, we got lost without each other…

- Oh Terry… I don't have much time unless I find a donor…

- Then we'll find you a donor, said Terry, you can't die Freckles…

- It's my fate, Terry…

She started coughing loud, she became red. Terry watched her weak body shake and he held her against him… Candy calm down and said:

- Thank you Terry, you don't have to stay, you know

- I'm not going anywhere, said Terry, oh Freckles…

- I'm going to go in peace now; I know you're fine…and happy…

- Oh Candy! Said Terry

He thought about his life, the booze, the drugs, the women, that was not a life, it was hell on earth for him…. But he couldn't tell Candy that…he had to let her believe he was fine…

Terry spent the night at the hospital; he didn't want to leave Candy's side.

The next day, Candy's whole family and friends were there. Aside from Annie, everybody was surprise to see Terry by Candy's bedside.

- What on earth is that bum doing here? Said Archie

- I brought him here, said Annie, last night

- What? Said her husband, but Annie

- Come on, Candy is dying! She needs to say goodbye to him…

- You had no right to do that!

- I had the right to make sure my sister is at peace when she leaves this world!

- That's enough Archie, said Albert, leave her alone! Candy needs the people that she loves near her…

- Not him! Said Archie

- If anything, only him matters, more than us, said Albert

A doctor arrived to speak to Albert, since he was Candy's father…

- Mr. Andrew… I've got bad news

- What else is new? Said Archie upset

Terry, who was in the room with Candy, saw the doctor…

- Freckles, there's a doctor talking to Albert…

- Probably more bad news, said Candy softly

- Let me go see…

The doctor was at the door step so that Candy could hear what he said. Terry approached the doctor.

- What is it, doctor? Asked Terry

- Terrence Grandchester? Said the doctor who recognised him

- Yes, said Terry

- You gave blood yesterday to get tested…

- Yes, said Terry…

- Well it's a match

- What? Said Terry I can save Candy?

- You could've, only

- What? Said Albert

- Well you're an alcoholic and on drugs… you can't be a donor

- Oh my God!

Terry was devastated! He could've saved Candy, but now he can't! She was going to die because of him! He had tears coming down his cheeks.

- Good one Grandchester! You could've saved her life, now you can't because of you weakness! You're a bum! You should've stay in your hell hole!

- Archie! Said Annie, that's enough! Leave him alone

Terry turned around and Candy looked at him. She smiled. He walked to her bed.

- Oh Terry, said Candy, I'm so sorry…

- Why are you apologising? Said Terry surprised, I'm the one who should apologise…I could've saved you! If we had stayed together, I would've saved you! Oh my God Freckles!

- Don't worry about it Terry, I'm prepared to leave everything… I saw you again, I'm happy… you know we never got to make love… I'm dying a virgin…

- Oh Candy! Said Terry hugging her… If only I could stay sober for a while, and flush the alcohol and the drugs from my body…but being an alcoholic… I haven't drunk since I got here… I'm feeling the withdrawal, but I don't care…I only want to be with you…

- I'm so happy you're here Terry…, said Candy

- Me too… I'm going to go for a walk and let your family see you…

Terry left the room and Candy's family was ready to replace him…

- I don't see, why we need all this, said Annie about the protective suit they were wearing, she's not getting better!

Terry was walking in the hallway, when he met the doctor again.

- Mr. Grandchester, I wanted to speak to you…

- About what??

- About your blood work…

- You already told me the bad news, I'm a match but I can't save Candy…because of my alcohol problem…

- That's not the only reason you can't give her blood…

- There's more?

- I'm afraid so… come with me in a consultation room…

Terry followed the doctor… in a small tiny room where there was a table an exam bed, two chairs.

- Please have a seat, said the doctor…

- I'd rather stand, said Terry

- As you wish…

- What is it?

- Well your test results showed us something else in you blood

- I'm waiting, said Terry impatient

- According to the tests, you are HIV positive…

Terry felt like the whole world was spinning around him, he sat down and looked at the doctor…

- Are you sure about that? He asked

- Yes…

- So I'm going to die?

- With the right cocktail of medicine you can leave a long time before it turns into full blown aids…

- Of course, I couldn't have won… if the booze and the drugs don't kill me, aids will take care of it!!! Damn this world! Damn you God! For punishing me like this! My life is over anyway, without Candy… you had to give me a fatal disease! Damn you!

Terry stood up and left the room! He went for a walk to vent for a while… he was angry at God, he was angry at life… All he wanted was to live with the woman he loved, was that really too much to ask? Susanna came in and ruins everything and started a horrible chain of events! Life sucked, big time!

He wanted to drink, after getting that mind-blowing life changing news, he wanted to drink and do drugs… but he needed a clear head to go see Candy, even if he suffers, he was not going to let her see him drunk not ever again! She was going to die with a nice image of him and at peace…

Days passed and finally, the fatal day arrived. Terry was with her in the room. The others had come and left the room after saying goodbye…

- Terry…

- Freckles my love

- We didn't get our time together, that's the only thing I regret, I regret not fighting for us… I regret giving up too fast on us…I love you Terry, I love you so much my heart bleed…I regret I have to have to leave you… you had made my last days here on earth the best that I've ever had…

- Candy, I love you, said Terry in tears, you're the only woman I've ever loved…goodbye my love…I love you…

- I love you, said Candy weakly

Then she closed her eyes… she was gone. Her bald head fell on Terry's chest. He held her body and cried, on his life, on her life, on their lives… What a mess!

When they came to take Candy away, he let her go and just left the room like an automaton … He got out of the hospital. He was walking; he wanted to cross the street when he saw Candy…

- Candy! He screamed

He ran in the busy street and he got hit by a car… His body flew up in the air and fell on the ground like a puppet… People gathered around him, he had blood coming out of his nose and mouth; he had a smile on his face…

- Candy… I love you… he said

And he expired….

*

* *

Susanna Marlowe was in her apartment watching television when the 10 o'clock news came on…

"Very sad entertainment news to report; Terrence Grandchester, one of the greatest actors of his generation, is dead. They say he was hit by a car coming out of Saint Joan's Hospital in Chicago, where minutes earlier, a childhood friend of his had passed away …"

Susanna couldn't hear the rest… Terry was dead! Her Terry! The love of his life, the man she saved, the man for whom she would've done anything, he was now dead! No, it couldn't be… Terry was dead, Terry was miserable. They were not together, she was unhappy, but she was waiting for him to come back to her, she had given up on her life, she wanted Terry, she waited for Terry in vain, now he was dead… Terry, her Terry, was no more…

- NOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Her mother, who was in the bedroom, came out running.

- Susanna?

- Mama… Terry… Terry…

- Terry what?

She looked at the television and she saw a picture of Terry on television with is year of birth to year to date… Terrence Grandchester was dead.

- Oh Susanna…!

Mrs. Marlowe had under estimated her daughter's feeling for Terry… Susanna was catatonic on her wheel chair… Mrs Marlowe when to call the doctor for help in the bedroom, when she came back she found Susanna's wheel chair in the kitchen… and blood on the floor… Susanna had slit her wrists with a sharp kitchen knife…

So our three protagonists had found death on the same day…